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Kingly fathers were not frequently succeeded by their sons, not because the Picts practised matrilineal succession, but because they were usually followed by their own brothers or cousins, more likely to be experienced men with the authority and the support necessary to be king. The nature of kingship changed considerably during the centuries of Pictish history.
While earlier kings had to be successful war leaders to maintain their authority, kingship became rather less personalised and more institutionalised during this time.
Wool was the main source of fibres for clothing, and flax was also common, although it is not clear if they grew it for fibres, for oil, or as a foodstuff.Bureaucratic kingship was still far in the future when Pictland became Alba, but the support of the church, and the apparent ability of a small number of families to control the kingship for much of the period from the later 7th century onwards, provided a considerable degree of continuity.In much the same period, the Picts' neighbours in Dál Riata and Northumbria faced considerable difficulties, as the stability of succession and rule that previously benefited them ended.Animals were small by later standards, although horses from Britain were imported into Ireland as breed-stock to enlarge native horses.From Irish sources it appears that the élite engaged in competitive cattle-breeding for size, and this may have been the case in Pictland also.